Feel Good-> Do Good-> Feel Good: Make a “Good Citizen” Resource Folder

More good news to report today: at my weekly “fill” appointment, my remaining drain was removed. After sporting it as a mandatory fashion accessory every day for a month, I was only too happy to say farewell. Toasted with a celebratory Starbucks, and done!

And more good news: my “Be the Tea” t-shirts arrived today, and they came out (if I do say so myself) super-cute! Even better, $130 and change in proceeds has now been donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation as a result. Thank you to DB, Donna, Katie, Laura, Lauren, Lucie, Sam, Sherry, Steve, Tony, Tracy and Nick! I am hoping to put the design back up again, possibly on a tote-bag or tea-towel, so stay tuned if you’re interested in supporting cancer research.

Feeling good about all this good news, along with the fact of the new year, inspired a Do Good to Feel Good post. This one is a little different, more about preparation and planning for action than the actual action itself, but having a plan can be key to following through on good intentions when life gets busy.

DGTFG: Make a “Good Citizen” Folder (paper, virtual, or both)

There are two parts to the “Good Citizen” folder, as I’m imagining it: Engage and Contribute.

Part 1–Engage: Part 1 contains all the information you need to contact your government representatives: the White House, your congressional representatives in Washington DC, your state representatives, your governor, and relevant local officials. For each one of these officials, include phone numbers and mailing addresses  (in many cases, for both local/district and government/capitol offices) and email addresses.

Collecting all necessary contact information in one, easy-to-access place makes it easier to let your voice be heard on issues important to you. Our government representatives need to hear their constituents’ voices clearly and be held accountable. I created a folder in my browser’s “Bookmark” function, titled it “Engage to Do Good,” and placed bookmarks for contact information and forms for all my relevant government representatives. I also printed out much of the same information to keep in a folder on my desk. When an urgent issue arises, I don’t have to spend any time looking up how to make my voice heard; a couple of clicks, and I’m ready. You might also consider putting the phone numbers of your two senators and your district’s representative in the House directly in your phone, or use the Call to Action web app, which will connect you quickly and easily. Calling is especially important, as calls are more influential than emails or letters.

Find your representatives’ info here: WhoIsMyRepresentative.com and Engage!

Part 1 of my Good Citizen e-folder
Part 2–Contribute: Part 2 of the Good Citizen folder contains contact and donation information for causes and organizations that are important to you. I have too often been guilty of “planning” to send support but then neglecting to follow through. Again, easy access to information means you are more likely to act.

Many organizations can now process donations online, which makes things very simple if you have good internet access. I created a second folder in my Bookmarks section and titled it “Contribute to Do Good.” I selected 12 organizations–one for each month of the year–then bookmarked the links to each of their donation pages and saved it in the folder. I also printed out a list of the organizations as a back-up. I plan to donate to one organization on the first day of each month, as a way to start the month off on a positive note. My list includes organizations that support a wide variety of causes: human rights, animal welfare, the environment, etc. Some are national or international in scope, while others are local.

You might prefer to set up an automatic monthly donation to a single cause, which makes it even easier to contribute regularly. If you have limited funds yourself but would like to invest in a good cause, consider a micro-loan program like Kiva.org. You can donate as little as $25, and once it is repaid, you can re-loan the same $25 again, and again, and again. I kicked off my project with my January donation going to Kiva.

Choose your causes and Contribute!

It feels good to do good. (And to be drainless at last!) Cheers!



Be the Tea, Buy the Tee to Support Breast Cancer Research

Be the Tea: A Parable about Adversity

I was inspired by the following story (many versions feature coffee, but I drink tea!) to create an original t-shirt design through the fundraising site Booster. Shirts are $15 and all profits ($5 per shirt) go directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Order by December 28th: https://www.booster.com/be-the-tea

A young woman is struggling through a difficult time in her life, and she seeks her mother’s advice. The mother leads her daughter to the kitchen, where she has placed three pots on the stove. After each has simmered a while, the mother asks her daughter to lift the lid of each of the pots, and tell her what she sees.

The daughter lifts each lid, one at a time, and then replies, “I see eggs, carrots, and a bag of tea leaves. Each is boiling in hot water.”

The mother nods, and asks her to look more closely. “What happens to an egg in boiling water?”

“It was fragile, but then it becomes hard,” the daughter replies.

“And what happens to carrots?” asks the mother.

“They begin hard, but in the water, they become soft and lose color,” replies the daughter.

“And what about the tea leaves?” asks the mother.

“The tea leaves turn the boiling water into tea,” replies the daughter.

“Yes,” says the mother. “Remember that. When in boiling water, the egg grows hard, and the carrots grow soft. But the tea? The tea changes the water it is in. When you find yourself in hot water, when you face challenges and adversity, strive to be the tea.”


As I face surgery at the beginning of next week, I have needed to remind myself of this tale, and its lesson, again and again: instead of letting difficult circumstances harden what is fragile, or weaken what is strong, use them to transform not only yourself but the world around you for the better.

Healing from cancer is a long and arduous journey. I hope you will consider supporting breast cancer research efforts by purchasing a “Be the Tea” t-shirt designed by yours truly between now and December 28th: https://www.booster.com/be-the-tea.

Thank you!